Poker Chips – Value and Concept

Games like poker had been out in the world for centuries. One of the main roles was, and still is, played by the poker chip. That token represents different amounts of money, which players use to bet. Back in the days, mainly workers from the mines gambled to release some of the stress from work. The poker chip value, as we know it today, was then represented by chunks of gold, pieces of ivory, leather, metals, bones and so on. With time, between the 1980s and 1990s, those jetton became standardized in shape but with different denomination. Basically, various poker chip colours represent a different value. More on that in a bit.
The Casino Chip both Equal and Different Share on Pinterest

The whole idea behind the creation of such tools was to secure the real currency during the game. Setting standards was also a very good step forward for the business. How to play poker with chips? Well, this article is here to answer such questions with ease. Here is one – chips represent an amount, which can vary from country to country and even from event to event. Most of the gambling industry depends on the proper poker chipset. You can enjoy home sets, sets for tournaments, regular everyday betting and professional ones. There you have a variety of colours and rates.

Strip Down of the Poker Chip Values

The coloured discs are not a necessity when it comes to a cash game of poker. Plain old cash can do the job as well. In other words, that invention makes setting up and playing a whole lot easier at the end of the night. Another thing such markers do is help making the players loosen up a bit and have some fun. That is understandable – imagine seeing a huge stack of cash piled up on the table in front of you, having high chances to disappear in a blink of an eye. Well, chips are real money, but for sure don’t look like it.

In that line of thoughts, it is vital to get familiar with the amount of money each token represents. There is a slight difference, depending on the casino, the game and the country you play in. Each casino on the planet works with marked chipsets. Be careful, most of the tokens outside the gambling hall are unmarked. There are no rules set in stone regarding assigning chip values..

When you are the host, regardless of the value system you pick, verify that every participant knows and understands it. Make the denominations of each chip visible. The easiest way for that is to put the info where everyone can see. If that already sounds like too much of a hassle, you might be better off at one of the UK poker sites, where the chip tally is automatic allowing you focus on the poker game.

Colour Determined Poker Chip Values

The table below contains the basic equivalents, used in the gaming halls and at your homes. The numbers vary as per casino and country. We have used the most common ones, but they are not 100% constant. The difference is not that big, but the following data will be helpful. Here are most of the hues used:

Full List of Chip Colours

Colour Value (£)
White 1
Yellow (barely used) 2
Red 5
Blue 10
Grey 20
Green 25
Orange 50
Black 100
Pink 250
Purple 500
Gray or Burgundy 1000
Light Blue 2000
Brown 5000

Divided by Material of Origin

Poker chips had been made out of various materials for the past centuries. That tradition keeps on going nowadays as well. However, now you can buy a certain kind depending on what you plan to do. This article is great in that department, because points out main pinpoints regarding the used materials. The following list of categories is giving you the main four kinds, that can be found:

  1. Plastic/ABS
  2. Clay/Composite Chips
  3. Ceramic Chips
  4. Metal Chips

Plastic – Poker Chips Form the Chain Store

Poker chips from plastic are the cheapest. They are mainly plain coloured, very light (about 2 grams) and don’t have any specifications. The top performant in that class is the Dimond modification set. It is made in the standard casino size, the chips a bit heavier and way better than the supermarket option. There you have more colours and rings of Suites or Dice. Regardless the plastic’s slippery feel, the set is perfect for home-usage.

Some of the Different Poker Chip Designs

There are several higher-class variations, where the technology of creation differs from the cheapest ones. The material even feels less slippery, duller and softer. The mid-range plastic poker chips offer custom looks, resemble more the casino tokens, have a metal piece for extra weight, but still, feel plastic. The best suggestion a.k.a. injection-moulded, are not wildly sold and can’t reach the casino halls at all. Even with nice texture and feel, they are still a bit slippery. Better go with a different set.

Clay Chips – the Best Option at the Table

Let’s start by the perfect 8 to 9 grams per chip. We can all agree, that those feel great in the hand. There is no doubt why such tokens are the most expensive and wildly used. Each casino can order a specific design, which is imprinted via a compression moulding process. Back in the days, in the 1900s to be more specific, every chip was made out of clay. However, since the late 1950s till today, the manufacturers use composite materials feeling just like the old school clay casino products. They don’t break that easy and are produced much faster. The weight here (between 11.5 and 13.5 grams) is perfect for stacking and riffling.

Ceramic – an Amazing Combination

A more durable product than clay, these chips are used in the casino halls. They can be purchased for private use as well. They are often referred to as ‘clay’, but they are not. They are actually made with a special plastic similar to porcelain. A better quality and smoother surface with harder durability in one. While manufactured by injection moulding, graphics are printed directly on the chip. They use a sticker or an inlay, which makes ceramic chips much more customisable with various designs. All that results in a bit higher price per set – minimum £150.

Metal Poker Chips?

A Great Metal Poker Chip Design

These are not even near to common but are a piece of art. Metal poker chips are specifically targeted by those of you, looking for a unique design when showing the poker chip setup. Still, finding them takes some real effort and a keen eye. You will need to stalk your prey on online shops and markets. There was one major manufacturer back in the days, the Time Life company, which produced metal chips in gold, silver and bronze variations. That practice is long closed and therefor such tokens are very hard to find today. If you do, they will be the stars of your poker night.

Interesting Facts About Chips Used in Casinos

With casino industry evolving, a major part of the game is now played online. However, the following section is aiming for a brief retrospection of the physical poker chip and some facts, related to its usage. We believe, that knowing more about land-based gambling halls and tokens can only help you understand the game much better.

1. Hard to Forge

Even the currencies are easier to duplicate. Casino owners are well-aware of the gambling history and know every forgery ever occurred in the business. Their money tokens are a tasty bite, so they are creative and have taken various security measures. Even if there is a fake on the table, the casino staff will spot it immediately.

How will they notice the difference? Well, each one is designed with a certain texture, feel and weight. Ok, that is doable, but you still have to deal with additionally implemented microchips, serial numbers (something like individual serial numbers), and plenty more.

2. There are Different Chips for Tournaments

It is a mistake to interpret casino tournament chips as equivalent to money. In most of the cases, there is no 1-to-1 ratio (or if there is, it’s really rare) between the buy-in and the amount of chips. Well, tournament chips do represent the possible prize amount. All that is calculated by a formula, also known as ICM (Independent Chip Model). It helps you wrap your thought around how to assign a monetary value to the chips within a tournament. The ICM method takes your stack and apprise it relative to the total number of chips in play and the prize distribution.

3. Moving Chips Between Betting Locations can be Tricky

Make sure, that the locations you plan to visit and use the same bunch of chips work together. Otherwise, it is really tricky if the poker chip cashier or the pit boss denies your request. Always double check with the casino before deciding such relocation.

4. The Most Expensive Poker Chip Ever!

Casino Chips With the Highest Value

Nevada Gaming Commission has announced, that some casinos, like Paris Las Vegas, are owning a casino token with a worth of £100,000. Others have plaques from £1 to £5 million. After all, as long as the casino has funds to back a token up, they can create denominations of any value. That is proven by the jaw-dropping £7.5 million poker token, presented in a case made out of alligator skin. There were over 22,000 pieces of highly valued chips, each with jewels and gems, over 1000 carats in total.

Once You Have Them, How to Stack Them?

Poker chip stack can be a hint to other players if you are a newbie or a pro. There are also rules, set by the Poker Tournament Directors Association. They are used in the daily poker games. It is something like an unwritten rule to have all your chips nicely organized for the rest to count throughout the game. All that becomes a habit with time and gaming experience. The next few lines will clear the air for the new players and the ones without a clue what we talk about here. Well, the old dogs are more than welcome to double-check their knowledge as well.

Special Tips for Newbies

For starters, establishing rules, which determine a certain poker chip stack pattern, is beneficial for every part of the equation. That way, everybody on the table can count the opponent’s chips much easier. The result will be fewer count requests from the players and a smoother game. Another point on the plus side is the informed decision. Meaning, when you can count your chips, every action taken will be guided by the amount of money you possess.

All the above plays a huge role in the poker tournaments as well. Neatly stacked chips help along the game and make everything go with no delays. There are several rules, so to speak, which suggest the recommended ways of ordering your tokens. The table below has them organized, so you waste no extra time while reading.

Poker Chips Stack Meaning
5 Used by newbies, because they are the easiest to maintain.
10 Used by players with less experience in the casino world.
20 When you see players with regs of 20s, that means they understand the need of proper chip stack and follow the standards.
30 Such players play tricks, causing a bit of mathematical riddles.
40 We talk about highflyers and usually regular winners. Higher stacks mean a lot of chips.
Cash Some casinos allow £100 bills only. Always check with the casino first. Used by all.

Sitting at the poker table for the first time is not a scary thing. After all, everybody was a newbie in the beginning. Just don’t try to outsmart the players with experience bypassing the set standards. Remember, the poker game speaks loud by the way you behave and the way you stack the chips. Concentrate on the game, try to avoid the ‘rookie mistakes’ and you will have an amazing time gathering casino experience. Keep the poker chip stacks in 20 and place the big valued ones upfront. That is a basic rule and will cover your lack of experience a bit.

Casino Chips and the Game of Poker

Dating back since the 16th century, the game of poker had evolved to the type we know it today. An interesting fact is the implementation of drawing cards to improve a hand. It was invented as a key routine in the 1830s. At about the same period, the Stud Poker appeared as a variation. No matter the game category, chips are the main means when it comes to betting.

You use chips to enter a table, to start a game, to call a bet and so on. For a game of poker involving a minimum of seven players, the number of chips required is at least 200. Usually, the white or lightest coloured ones have the lowest value. The dye of the poker chip determines its value. Each table has a set buy-in amount and you need to match it 100%. When the action begins, avoid sticking to aggressive strategies. It can cause mistakes, which will show your attentions to the opponents. Folding too often, too loose or passive attitude and other patterns can cause negative outcomes.

Chips and Their Role in the Game of Poker

The key element to poker is the betting, a.k.a. chip management. It helps steering the hands outcome – aim for minimum losses with poor hands and maximum winnings with good hands. Before the cards are even dealt, the rules may require that each player puts an initial contribution a.k.a. an ‘ante’. This means placing one or more chips into the pot, which will start the game. The betting rounds begin with the player in turn. The person to the left then either ‘calls’ the bet by placing the same number of chips to the pot, ‘raises’ (betting more), or ‘folds’ (no chips are placed, discards their hand, and is out of the betting until the next deal).

A Vital Element in the Game of Poker

Have in mind, that once you drop out of the round, you lose the chips in the pot. After every player bets, the interval closes. Each poker deal usually has more than one round, but it depends also on the poker variations played. Nevertheless, each round ends with a ‘showdown’ or placing the cards face-up on the table. Here, the best one wins. When no other player calls yor bet, you are the winner and don’t have to show any cards. You can also ‘check’ and leave the chips on the table as they are.


In the next few lines we will address main pinpoints regarding poker chips. We aim for straight to the point information, which will help you spot the answer in no time. How to pick the proper poker set, how to shuffle, some weight specifics and many more. Poker chips play a main role in casinos and it is always a better idea to learn about them.

Which are the top 3 poker chip sets in the UK?

The leader on the UK market, Redtooth Poker, offers sets of 500 chips. The second in sells is the Ultimate Poker Set offered with 300 chips, sold in an aluminium case. The third most popular set is produced by a Cambridge company called Premier Poker Chips.

How to shuffle my poker chips?

The process does take a little practice. Use two small piles, three poker chips each. Place them next to each other, touching. Put your pinky and ring finger on the right pile, and your thumb and index finger on the left one. With steady pressure bring both piles together until they buckle. Now use your middle finger and get them to interlock:

How much does a professional poker chip weight?

It must be a minimum of 11.5 grams. The idea is to be easily shuffled. With the plastic 9 grams sets it is nearly impossible to perform. The heavier ones are easier to play with and execute every chip related action on the poker, roulette or blackjack table.

Are chips the only objects with value for a game of poker?

They are the main participants, but the surface of the table you plan to play on, the chairs, the location, even timers (which will help to keep track of the blinds) matter too. Chips need to be used on a flat and wide enough surface. In order for the players to enjoy the game (home location), the chairs add on to the comfort and atmosphere of the event.

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